At the beginning of the film, she is originally the stereotype of a Disney Princess. Because she lives in the perfect fantasy world of Andalasia, she has barely felt emotions that are rare to the land such as frustration, sadness, and anger, which, of course, are common on Earth. She dreams of having her own Prince Charming, whom she will fall in love with and live happily ever after. She also loves animals, who help her both in Andalasia and on Earth.
When she comes to New York City, her experiences in Andalasia make her blind and naive to the complexity of Earth and she becomes rather scared, distressed and confused during her first night in New York. Her naivety also tends to frustrate Robert, who had agreed to let her stay with him until Edward, her dream prince from Andalasia comes for her. However, over the course of the film, her experiences on Earth with Robert open her up to a more complex world she had never experienced in Andalasia, along with introducing her to emotions such as anger and sadness. She also grows into a mother figure for Robert's daughter, Morgan.
Despite maturing over the course of the film, she still retains her innocence, optimism, and kind nature. Hailing from Andalasia, Giselle displays similar traits to the Disney Princesses; Lima describes her as "about 80% Snow White, with some traits borrowed from Cinderella and Aurora... although her spunky attitude comes from Ariel a.k.a. The Little Mermaid." She is "eternally optimistic and romantic" but is also "very independent and true to her convictions".
Role in the film
Gabriella "Giselle" first appears in the film living in a cottage in the forest with her woodland animal friends. They help her make a mannequin of her dream prince and she explains to them about how she wants a true love's kiss with that special person, particularly a prince. She is soon attacked by a giant ogre who attempts to eat her. With the help of her best friend Pip, she manages to send the ogre flying (literally) but falls off a tree when the tree branch she is holding breaks. She then meets Prince Edward who, captivated by her beauty and voice, decides to marry her the next day. Giselle elated that she has found her special someone, rushes to the castle the next day to be wed. However, Prince Edward's stepmother, Queen Narissa, pretends to be an old hag and leads her to a "wishing well" so she can make a wish before she gets married. Giselle wishes to live happily ever with Prince Edward but is pushed by Narissa into the well which leads to Earth at present-day New York.
She is at first very distressed by her surroundings, as no one tries to help her and she can't find her way back. Eventually, she meets Robert and his daughter Morgan who climbed out of the taxi they were riding after seeing Giselle. She falls asleep in Robert's apartment and he allows her to stay the night. She decides to repay them the next morning by cleaning up the house with the help of the animals of New York City (which turned out to be rats, mice, birds and insects). Robert, however, is not at all pleased as there are rodents, bugs, and other animals in his house and he shoos them away. He is further annoyed when his girlfriend Nancy appears and sees Giselle wrapped in a shower towel on top of them (though she merely tripped and fell on him). He tries to find out where she lives and send her there, to no success. He then tries to leave her and gives her money so she can "call" her prince. However, after he sees her giving the money away to an old woman, he decides to follow after her.
The two soon spend the rest of the day getting to know each other and she manages to find happiness with the initially cynical Robert, her time with Robert opening her eyes to a reality that was more complex and engaging than anything she had previously known, growing from her old role as a 'damsel in distress' to a strong, confident fighter. Nathaniel, who was sent by Narissa to kill Giselle with a poison apple, also appears throughout their day to try to kill Giselle, to no avail. The two begin to understand more about each other and develop feelings for one another, although both do not yet realize their feelings. Eventually, Prince Edward finally manages to find Giselle and asks her to come back with him. She asks Prince Edward if she can go on a date with him before they go. The two enjoy their date together but Giselle still tries to buy time so she can stay longer in New York. She tells Prince Edward about an upcoming ball and he decides they should go there and then come back to Andalasia. She agrees and enlists Morgan's help in getting her ready. The two begin to bond like a mother and daughter. Meanwhile, Narissa is upset that Nathaniel has not killed Giselle yet and decides to finish the job herself.
Giselle comes to the ball and dances with Prince Edward and with Robert and realizes her feelings for Robert. However, she knows that Nancy and he are together and upon seeing them kiss, has her heart broken. Narissa approaches Giselle once more as an old hag and gives her an apple, which she says will make her forget about her experiences on Earth. She bites it and faints. Narissa tries to escape but Prince Edward catches her and Nathaniel reveals her treachery, no longer wanting to do her dirty work. Prince Edward tries to wake her with a kiss, but it fails. Robert then tries it and she wakes up. Narissa angered that her plan failed, transforms into a dragon to try and kill Giselle, but instead catches Robert as he defends her. With the help of Pip and Robert, Giselle successfully kills Narissa and shares her second kiss with Robert. Prince Edward decides to give up on Giselle and soon falls in love with Robert's ex-girlfriend Nancy and vice versa and the two live happily ever after. Giselle also lives happily ever after with Robert and Morgan, becoming part of their family and starting her own fashion line.
Giselle was released in two games while the movie Enchanted was in theaters.
Enchanted: Once Upon Andalasia
In this game, released for the Game Boy Advanced, Giselle tells a story to sleep on Morgan from Andalasia. Thus, Giselle and her friend Pip has to solve some problems in Andalasia, like picking fruit, performing various tasks. In another part of the game, Prince Edward and Giselle helps the player.
Enchanted (Nintendo DS)
Giselle is a little more carefree in the game than in the movie. She can stay in music stages and "sing", and after completing the song for a limited time you have a special power, and every dress that you create has a power own text. You make all the dresses that Giselle wears in the movie. Furthermore, Giselle has many animal friends, which change in New York. (Ex. A blue bird becomes a pigeon.)
Giselle is also sometimes taken to "travel" to imaginary Andalasia in her memoirs to help move the game along. Furthermore, Narissa constantly attacks her and Edward sludge monsters or mushrooms.
In Both Disney Parks, Walt Disney World and Disneyland have a "face character" actor that portrays the Giselle. There was initially a parade that featured Giselle when the film was in theaters, although Giselle hasn't been seen in the parks to date as of 2014. This is due to the company's unwillingness to pay royalties to Amy Adams.
- Had she been a Disney Princess, Giselle would have been the first official Disney Princess to come from a film that is not part of the Disney Animation Canon and the first live-action one. She would've also been the fifth Disney Princess (the first being Snow White, the second being Cinderella, the third being Aurora, the fourth being Ariel, the sixth being Rapunzel) to have a female antagonist in their film.
- Disney had planned to include Giselle in the Disney Princess line-up, to the point where a prototype Giselle doll appeared at the Toy Fair in 2007. However, the plans were quickly dropped when the company realized they would have to pay royalties to Amy Adams for using her likeness.
- In the early stages of production, Giselle was conceived as a blonde. However, it was later decided that she'd look better as a redhead.
- Giselle's character is based on the other Disney Princesses. Her appearance is very similar to Ariel and Giselle's personality is modeled off of Snow White.
- Giselle falls into a porthole from her fantasy world of Andalasia to New York rather like Alice does from her 'real' world to that of Wonderland, but in reverse order.
- Even though she never was a princess during the movie, Narissa called her one during the climax when she confronts her at the top of the building.
- Giselle is the second Disney heroine to use a sword against the villain, the first being Mulan.
- When Giselle got to New York, she had mistaken a little man for Grumpy.
- She's the second Disney character to be named Giselle. In the film Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie falls in love with a female 1976 Lancia Scorpion, who is also named Giselle.